Martin’s Garden Notes
There are plenty of options now for gardens in the shade. Often interesting foliage plants like Hostas are excellent for providing structure for your shade garden. Astilbe, with plumes of white, pink or red or Pulmonaria offering speckled foliage and pink, white or blue blooms inn early spring add color. Old fashioned Bleeding Heart blooms beautifuly in early spring while the dwarf forms bloom all summer.
Groundcovers are effective in the shade including pachysandra, and myrtle. Be cautious with ivy as it is quite agressive and hard to control when established. One Pachysandra discovered by a nursery in Connecticut is called Green Sheen is slower growing with glossy foliage. Introducing scattered groups of other perennials like hostas in a bed of groundcover adds interest to the space.
Several perennials bloom late in the season in the shade including Toad Lily with speckled blooms in October. European Ginger, Ferns, Andrmeda and Japanese Holly also work well.
All these add up to interesting possibilities for your shady garden.